One of the biggest parts of my life is music. Everyone has a song which is their ‘favourite’ (or a collection of them) songs which trigger emotions linked to events and songs which are you ‘secret’ soundtracks… Yes I admit it…. As a thirty something I am liking some of One Direction’s new stuff AND even Justin Bieber’s last 2….. (Sorry…. Please don’t stop reading…)
I am writing this whilst in a studio session. Not just any normal session a complete over haul of stuff me and the team (ACPV music) have written over the last 5 years. We had a trip to Nashville in August – a pitch to over a dozen labels, publishers and critics. We had some great feedback from it and the experience, albeit tense for Pip who was in the firing line, was extremely valuable for our writing style. So today- we are at a crossroads and changing how we compose to fit with current trends. This isn’t ‘new’ to us, BUT we have to follow the formula. The music and 4 chords the publics ears have been tuned to and are reluctant to accept anything different. Should be easy you say, but with my part being melody (keyboard&vocals) and lyrics, it is Blumin hard not to rift into a known song, and try to pull it away by one note…. ARGH!
Our last formulas were too daring. Which is annoying. We were told to dumb down the lyrics for Country- mine were too ‘thought needed’ to decipher. They don’t seem to like ambiguity, they want a clear story – AS IS – and all this writing from experience is great BUT if an artist you are tryouts by to place a song with doesn’t feel your emotion in the break up song, it’s pretty pointless….so, now we have:
- Generic 4 chord formula
- Basic story
- Sod all intro – literally straight into the song
- Don’t be too emotive if you aren’t going to be singing the songs yourself….
- Try not to sound like anyone else
- Keep the will to live after completing above…
Easy peasy……. Well….. Kinda!
The thing is, when music has been in your bones since you arrived on the Earth, it is hard to leave it alone…. What is called for now is more study of some great songwriting ‘self help’ and ‘how to’ books…. I have a couple that have great exercises for practice…..
What I must remember is to not ever take ANYTHING personally… Music is like marmite, love it or hate it, every song has one note or word which you will relate to or pull a string, no matter what comes before or after it……
My break is now over and it’s my turn to get back to work…. Ade our guitarist has laid his track down… And my expertise is required!!!!
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